Rita Daley Hannafin

Sanctuary in the City

Sanctuary in the City (full size) ©Rita Daley Hannafin


Sanctuary in the City (detail) ©Rita Daley Hannafin

On my daily walk along the LI Sound, I turn a corner and view this mysterious body of tidal wetlands. This is Ash Creek, my own backyard in Bridgeport. Its raw beauty has helped me appreciate the significance of this rare shoreline preserve in Connecticut’s largest city.

250 species of birds visit on their migratory journey. Ospreys nest on their platforms. I now appreciate even low tide, when the moon’s gravitational pull teases the waters in and out of the Creek, exposing mud, wood, and more grasses, providing nutrients for myriad wildlife.

The bright fabrics convey the joy of this refuge. The grasses are still, as on a hot, summer day. The water is quilted as though it were flowing, ebbing, swelling, like clockwork, never stagnant. The collection of houses and trees near the top of the piece is Fairfield Avenue as it enters Bridgeport over the little bridge.

Ash Creek holds so many secrets, so much life, always a new discovery. It inspires me every day.